The Australian government is planning to set aside up to A$800 million for the purchase of new amphibious vehicles and landing craft for the Australian Army.
The vessels that are to be procured under the Army Littoral Manoeuvre – Light project, LAND 8710 Phase 1, are expected to be introduced from 2026.
Australian defense minister Linda Reynolds said the vessels would be larger, faster, and better protected to support ADF operations than the army’s existing LCM-8 landing craft and LARC-V amphibious vessels.
“Today’s announcement delivers on this government’s objectives, set out in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, to enhance the Australian defense forces’ amphibious capabilities, especially in Australia’s territorial waters and the near region,” minister Reynolds said.
“Australian industry involvement will be maximized throughout the design, construction and sustainment phases of this project,” defense industry minister Melissa Price said.
“The new and enhanced platforms will use Australian industry’s expertise both during the detailed design and build phases to support the delivery of the Morrison Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan.”
With two separate fleets to be acquired, the watercraft will provide independent shore-to-shore, ship-to-shore, and over-the-shore capabilities to better maneuver and sustain the ADF in littoral and riverine environments.
Through the project, an independent landing craft will be delivered to replace the army’s LCM-8 vessels which have been in service since the 1960s.
An amphibious vehicle will also be built to replace Army’s current Lighter, Amphibious Resupply, Cargo, 5 ton (LARC-V) amphibious cargo vehicle.
Both projects will offer opportunities for Australian industry in the vehicle’s design, build, maintenance and through-life support phases, the defense ministry said.